UPDATE 1-Spain's Abengoa teams up U.S. firm to fund renewables projects
(Adds analyst comment, shares)
Jan 6 (Reuters) - Spanish engineering firm Abengoa has teamed up with a U.S. infrastructure firm to manage and fund its renewable energy projects, in a move that should help the company reduce its debt.
EIG Global Energy Partners will take a majority stake in the portfolio of projects, which need more than $9.5 billion in financing, the Spanish firm said in a statement on Tuesday.
Abengoa, which expanded massively into renewables, has been struggling with its high debt since a decade-long economic boom in Spain ended abruptly in 2008.
It also came under scrutiny over how it accounted for some of its borrowings, including a bond issued by Abengoa Greenfield, the subsidiary which financed some of the U.S. projects.
The venture should help the Spanish firm to reduce debt because as it is a minority partner it will likely not have to consolidate debt related to the projects on its group balance sheet.
"Abengoa should have a minority stake in the new (company) ... easing leverage ratios," analysts at BPI said in a note.
Abengoa had no further comment. It said in the statement it aimed to sign a binding deal with EIG by the end of January. Its shares were up 4.8 percent at 1.98 euros ($2) per share.
Abengoa has been reorganising itself and in December said it was cutting its controlling stake in another U.S. subsidiary, Abengoa Yield. ($1 = 0.8398 euros) (Reporting by Sarah White and Robert Hetz, editing by Louise Heavens)
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